Disneyland and Disney California Adventure opened their gates to guests Friday after an unprecedented 13-month closure, welcoming parkgoers to stroll down Main Street USA, pay a visit to the Haunted Mansion and scream down Splash Mountain as the COVID-19 pandemic loosens its grip on the state.
In the 66-year history of Disneyland, the theme park has been shut for extreme circumstances only a few times — after the assassination of President Kennedy and following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, for example — but before the pandemic struck in March 2020, none of those closures lasted longer than a day.
Now, with a slew of coronavirus safety adjustments, the Anaheim parks are welcoming back their fans.
Eager parkgoers began lining up hours before Disneyland’s official 9 a.m. opening time, and a cheer greeted the announcement that the temperature-check station would start processing them for admission about an hour early. To prevent crowding in Disneyland’s Main Street area, park employees — alongside Walt Disney Co. Executive Chairman Bob Iger and Chief Executive Bob Chapek — waved in the admitted guests and invited them to freely roam the grounds.
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